Hello GWP Community,

As a part of black history month, my congregation is learning about stories of our African American brothers and sisters in the in history in our denomination.  This past week, we met Martha (Mattie) Cunningham Dolby, the first, along with her brother, African American students to enroll at Manchester College.  In 1911, Mattie become one of the first women to be called to ministry within the Church of the Brethren.  While we honor her life and ministry, unfortunately there was still a great deal of racial prejudice within the Church of the Brethren and many did not extend the respect she deserved during her lifetime.

As we honor these sisters and brothers, I can’t help but wonder how we, as a denomination, might look now if we had offered full inclusion and respect earlier on.  And as we reflect on who we are now, are we fully offering this and truly being a welcoming church?  I challenge us to learn this history and to help it influence our actions today, so that when someone like Mattie walks through our doors, we are truly offering the hand of fellowship into our beloved community of Christ.

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 26th, and we want to remind you about our Lenten Calendars.  If you have one from the past, you can use it again. To receive a calendar, e-mail us and we can mail one to you, or send you one page per day by email throughout Lent. Either option is free. Click here to download a Tally/Donation Sheet.

International Women’s Day is on March 8th.  Does your congregation celebrate this in worship?  For ideas and resources, check out our website.  If you create some new resources, please share them with us!

Blessings and peace,

Barb Sayler, for GWP

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